By Christina Serratore – 1851 Staff
This school year, Lasell switched from Moodle to Canvas as the primary manner for students to turn in work, keep up-to-date on assignments and contact their professors. The first few weeks of the semester was a big game of trial and error, with students and professors alike trying to figure out how to utilize the platform. Unlike a lot of people though, I actually have more experience with Canvas than I do with Moodle because some of my high school teachers used it. As such, I have a good idea of the pros and cons of each.
I have found it much easier to upload assignments to Canvas than to Moodle. Canvas is accommodating of the fact that students may use different word processing programs and allows you to upload a variety of different files, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs. It is also much easier to upload images. I also appreciate that many professors have been able to embed syllabi and project directions directly in their page, which reduces the amount of papers one must keep track of. Canvas may have streamlined submitting assignments, but that doesn’t mean it’s a perfect platform.
Canvas lags behind Moodle in terms of being easy to navigate. Where once I was able to easily find specific class and assignment pages, on Canvas I find myself doing a lot of clicking around. Moodle was more spread out so it was easy to find things, but Canvas tends to hide a lot of things in tabs within other links. Additionally, Canvas allows individual professors more freedom to design their class pages, and the lack of uniformity can be confusing. Canvas’s quiz model has provided yet another annoyance for a lot of us. It scrambles the answers, which I suppose is intended to prevent cheating, but creates confusion with multiple-choice questions that include answers like “all of the above.”
No platform is perfect, and they all have advantages and disadvantages. But in the game of Moodle vs Canvas, I think Canvas is the winner. It could use a facelift in terms of its layout, but its ability to accept assignments in different formats and embed documents right into the webpage make it reign supreme as a turn-in site for college students.